Detecting LP gas leak

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Scoundrel

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I had my LP gas tank filled 3 weeks ago and the valve was turned off because the coach was in storage. I went on a short trip so I turned on the LP to start the Refrigerator and noticed the gauge on the tank said just over 3/4 tank.

When I just had it filled it read full.

Is there a way of detecting a LP gas leak at the tank?
Is it possible the shut off valve is no really closing all the way?
If the valve leaks but all the appliances are turn off do you still loose LP?
 

Ron

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Scoundrel said:
I had my LP gas tank filled 3 weeks ago and the valve was turned off because the coach was in storage. I went on a short trip so I turned on the LP to start the Refrigerator and noticed the gauge on the tank said just over 3/4 tank.

Your tank should read just over 3/4 full after being filled if done correctly. Propane tanks should never be filled more than 80% of tank capacity.  Most propane tanks nowdays have an automatic shutoff valve that will not allow the tank to be over filled.  Some of the older tanks did not have this feature so the tanks were filled by weight or in the case of a permanently mounted tank the fill would be stopped when the propane started spitting out the 80% valve that should have been opened during fill. 


Leak checks can be preformed using a liquid leak detector or soapy solution
 

Jeff

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Ron:

All of that being true my inside gauge is calibrated to show full at 80%.

Scoundrel:

There is a gauge with a rubber connector that can be slid onto one of the burner outlets on hour stove. With the pressure on check the pressure and turn off the shutoff on the tank. There is a leakdown rate that should not be exceeded.
 

Ron

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But the gauge on the tank should read accurately I.E 80% at 80%.  Some inside gauges are calibrated some are not and some just have enough error they appear to read full. :D ;)  The reading reported of just over 80% is in line with what a tank should read on the tank gauge just after fill.
 

JerArdra

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Scrondrel,

No sweat!!!  It's full.  Many tanks settle at 3/4s full after filling and they are FULL.  In reality, the tank only fills to 80% capacity so a 10 galloon tank on fills 8 gallons of propane at the most.  Then if the auto stop-fill float inside the tank is not "right on the mark" you may get a little more or less propane.  Then, of course, if the gauge is off a little it is even more confusing.

Here is what to do.  Get the total gallon capacity of your tank and see what 80% of that is.  Then when the gauge says 50% fill up and record how many gallons it took.  Then next time take the tank down to 25%, fill and see how many gallons it took.  At this point you might take the tank down to 15% and refill.

By doing this and knowing how many gallons at 80% of the capacity of the tank is, you can judge how much propane you have left when the gauge says 50% or 25% or what have you.

For the record, when mine reads 25% it is still approximately 40% full.

JerryF
 

John From Detroit

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Easiest method is to check the guage right after filling, I notice mine never goes much above 3/4 either

To test for leaks there are two ways.

Method one: install a leak detector guage in the line,  This is simply a "T" fitting with, usualy, POL fittings on the (a set, one male, one female) you unhook the line from the tank, hook this to the tank, hook the line back, TIGHTEN WELL, open and then close the tank valve... If the pressure drops quickly.. You have a leak, note, this guage is usually sold to detect when the tank is empty (pressure drops as the tank approaches empty)

Method too, soap it down, Starting with every junction soap it down, now you can get expensive leak detector solution at the RV store, or much cheaper bubble solution at the dollar store (I have seen a lot of professionals with bubble solution in their kit) or mix some dish soap with water and brush it on.

BUBBLES = LEAKS

Method 3: Call for professional (and thus expensive) help
 

Scoundrel

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When I filled the "10 gallon" tank it originally read 1/4 full. It took 6 gallons and the attendant said it was full. I believe I looked at the gauge and it read well over the 3/4 mark. If in fact it only fills 80% the the tank would only have 8 gallons. That would theoretically mean 2 gallons for every 1/4 reading level. Correct?
 

Ned

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The tank gauges aren't necessarily linear.  They're just an approximation.
 
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